Bluesland – A Portrait in American Music

$16.98

With traditions that variously intersect and parallel those of jazz, the blues has likewise emerged as a uniquely American musical dialect that has powerfully influenced music from the early 20th century forward. Whether tuned to the stark individuality of country blues, with its often-harrowing, adult themes of sex, death, and violence, or keyed to the […]

With traditions that variously intersect and parallel those of jazz, the blues has likewise emerged as a uniquely American musical dialect that has powerfully influenced music from the early 20th century forward. Whether tuned to the stark individuality of country blues, with its often-harrowing, adult themes of sex, death, and violence, or keyed to the livelier cadences and more boisterous moods of the urban strains that would later evolve into R&B, the blues have become uniquely pervasive. This 85-minute documentary, part of a six-segment jazz and blues project funded by a multinational coalition of producers, benefits from a creative visual presentation and a smart selection of performers and interview subjects to explore not only the various regional and chronological styles of the blues itself, but also the music’s alternately subtle and striking impact on other styles from swing and rock & roll to jazz itself. The blues’ vital odyssey from the Mississippi Delta through the South and on to increasingly distant American cities is traced, as are the varying rural and urban styles of such masters as Son House, Leadbelly, Bessie Smith, Big Bill Broonzy, Sonny Boy Williamson, Muddy Waters, and T-Bone Walker. Giving this portrait a broader, rightly inclusive sense of how the blues has threaded through African American culture are performances by nominal jazz and rhythm & blues masters including Count Basie , Louis Jordan, Big Joe Turner, Jimmy Rushing, and Dinah Washington, among others. Perceptive interview segments with writers including Albert Murray and the late Robert Palmer further illuminate a fertile terrain that has managed to regenerate itself through successive periods of rediscovery. –Sam Sutherland

Roots Rock

Comments are closed.

Related Products